pal·​lid ˈpa-ləd How to pronounce pallid (audio)
: deficient in color : wan
a pallid countenance
: lacking sparkle or liveliness : dull
a pallid entertainment
The movie is a pallid version of the classic novel.
pallidly adverb
pallidness noun

Example Sentences

The movie is a pallid version of the classic novel. a pallid man who looked as though he'd never seen the sun
Recent Examples on the Web The Oscars ceremony was a pallid and watered-down entertainment, with little of what makes anybody care about movies. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 13 Mar. 2023 In a study of the Chihuahuan Desert in the American Southwest and northern Mexico, ancient packrats were found to have collected remains of everything from 9,000-year-old pocket gophers to 12,000-year-old pallid bats. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 15 July 2022 The bird-dropping moth and other species proposed for addition — including the fat pocketbook mussel, the pallid shiner and the crawfish frog — may not be as iconic or photogenic as some species, but each is an important part of Indiana’s various ecosystems. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Mar. 2022 The Steak au Poivre was pallid (wouldn’t serve it to my doggy!). Pat Myers, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 But those are pallid, inferior, lacking in flavor. Globe Staff,, 2 Feb. 2022 Something about the light was pallid, an ill wind. Adam Rogers, Wired, 10 Sep. 2020 The rock star’s wife (Camila Morrone as Camila) should be the clear loser here, a pallid enforcer of bourgeois social norms competing against the truth-telling iconoclast. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2023 But the lucky customer who bought it will now be able to immortalize the two entire minutes during which a fly perched on the vice president’s perfectly coiffed hairdo framing his pallid face, before buzzing off to more enjoyable places. Sarah Ravits,, 8 Oct. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pallid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin pallidus "pale, colorless" — more at pale entry 1

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pallid was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near pallid

Cite this Entry

“Pallid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


pal·​lid ˈpal-əd How to pronounce pallid (audio)
: lacking healthy color : pale
pallidly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on pallid

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